Happy Mother’s Day everyone. As I sat and thought back over my experience of being a mom this morning I realized some of my favorite moments involved play. Stuart Brown says the very first play a baby ever does is with his or her mom. This type of play is called attunement play and it’s when an infant makes eye contact with mom and each experiences a spontaneous surge of emotion (joy). The baby responds with a radiant smile, the mother with her own smile and rhythmic vocalizations (baby talk). Imaging technologies have shown when this happens that the right cortex, which organizes emotion is “attuned” in both infant and mother. I mean how cool is that we can be attuned with our children through play.
Throughout my experience as a mom I have had many types of play, or many activities that I have considered play. My favorites have always been those of exploration, going new places, seeing new things, new animals, climbing new mountains, swimming in new places, etc. I also enjoyed being able to use my own skills like creativity. For example my oldest son would ask me the craziest questions like “what does the tooth fairy do with my teeth?” and I would try to come up with something different like that she has a recycling program and gives the baby teeth to new babies.
Today on Mother’s Day the reason I really wanted to share my thoughts on play is because these times have brought joy to both myself and my children and have, at least in my opinion, been the best way to keep us attuned throughout the years. Play can be cheap, we just found out our cat loves bubbles and we have been playing with him and amusing ourselves with that. Play can be easy, my youngest son likes to go for bike rides so I am going to go with him sometimes to play. Play can be part of life, a picnic in the park instead of dinner at home. In my opinion play can and should be integrated into life.
So today as you celebrate I hope you will take time to laugh and play.
Happy Mother’s Day from the Innovate Faster team.